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Role of N-glycosylation on Zika virus E protein secretion, viral assembly and infectivity.
Abstract: Zika virus has rapidly spread reaching a global distribution pattern similar to that of dengue virus, and has been associated with serious neurological and developmental pathologies, like congenital malformation during pregnancy and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Sequence analysis of different clinical and laboratory isolates has shown the existence of mutants with loss of the conserved N-glycosylation motif on domain I of protein E that is common to all flaviviruses. We found that loss of E N-linked glycosylation leads to compromised expression and secretion of E ectodomain from mammalian cells. For both, wild type and glycosylation-negative mutant, secretion was independent of co-expression of the PrM viral protein, but highly dependent on temperature. Low temperature (28 °C) favoured secretion, although the glycosylation mutant E ectodomain showed impaired secretion and membrane display compared to the wild type. Production of pseudoviral particles with a West Nile virus replicon packaged with the Zika virus structural proteins C-PrM-E was significantly reduced with the non-glycosylated E. Similarly, glycosylation-negative pseudoviral particles showed impaired infectivity of Vero cells and reduced ability to infect K562 cells upon particles opsonisation with anti-E antibodies.
Pub.: 11 Jan '17, Pinned: 13 Jan '17
Purification of Zika virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and its use to identify small-molecule Zika inhibitors.
Abstract: The viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) enzymes of the Flaviviridae family are essential for viral replication and are logically important targets for development of antiviral therapeutic agents. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a rapidly re-emerging human pathogen for which no vaccine or antiviral agent is currently available.To facilitate development of ZIKV RdRp inhibitors, we have established an RdRp assay using purified recombinant ZIKV NS5 polymerase.We have shown that both the hepatitis C virus (HCV) nucleoside inhibitor sofosbuvir triphosphate and a pyridoxine-derived non-nucleoside small-molecule inhibitor, DMB213, can act against ZIKV RdRp activity at IC50s of 7.3 and 5.2 μM, respectively, in RNA synthesis reactions catalysed by recombinant ZIKV NS5 polymerase. Cell-based assays confirmed the anti-ZIKV activity of sofosbuvir and DMB213 with 50% effective concentrations (EC50s) of 8.3 and 4.6 μM, respectively. Control studies showed that DMB213 did not inhibit recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and showed only very weak inhibition of HIV-1 integrase strand-transfer activity. The S604T substitution in motif B of the ZIKV RdRp, which corresponds to the S282T substitution in motif B of HCV RdRp, which confers resistance to nucleotide inhibitors, also conferred resistance to sofosbuvir triphosphate, but not to DMB213. Enzyme assays showed that DMB213 appears to be competitive with natural nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) substrates.Recombinant ZIKV RdRp assays can be useful tools for the screening of both nucleos(t)ide compounds and non-nucleotide metal ion-chelating agents that interfere with ZIKV replication.
Pub.: 11 Jan '17, Pinned: 13 Jan '17
Long-term kinetics of Zika virus RNA and antibodies in body fluids of a vasectomized traveller returning from Martinique: a case report.
Abstract: The magnitude of the current Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic has led to a declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO. Findings of viable viral particles in semen for several weeks are corroborating reports of sexual transmission of ZIKV. Serious consequences of a positive diagnostic result particularly in the pregnant patient are calling for precise diagnostic tools also at later time points after infection. Currently, recommendations suggest a diagnostic period of direct viral detection of 5 to 7 days after onset of symptoms in serum or plasma, and up to 3 weeks in urine samples.A vasectomized 41-year-old German returning from Martinique presented at the outpatient clinic of the Department for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Munich, with subfebrile temperature, rash, malaise, severe retro-orbital pain and occipital lymphadenopathy. The main complaints resolved after ten days without specific treatment. We are reporting on clinical course and results of direct and indirect detection methods of ZIKV in different sample types including whole blood, ejaculate, urine, serum, plasma and saliva samples up to 119 days post symptom onset. Ejaculate samples remained PCR positive for ZIKV until day 77, whole blood samples until day 101.The case presentation adds to the still limited knowledge of kinetics of detection of ZIKV by direct as well as indirect methods. Here, a complete data set including results from PCR, serology and cell culture is provided allowing an improved evaluation of optimum diagnostic periods for testing a variety of sample types. Moreover, a high viral load of ZIKV RNA was detected in ejaculate of the vasectomized patient. This finding sheds new light on the possible localizations of ZIKV replication in the human male reproductive tract.
Pub.: 11 Jan '17, Pinned: 13 Jan '17
Zika virus knowledge, attitudes, and vaccine interest among university students.
Abstract: Zika virus vaccine development is underway. We examined interest in receiving a Zika virus vaccine (after one becomes commercially available) among students at a large public university in Northern Virginia.An online survey of Zika virus-related knowledge, attitudes, and interest in receiving a Zika vaccine was completed by 619 undergraduate students in April, 2016. Stepwise logistic regression with backward elimination was used to identify the variables most strongly associated with interest in being vaccinated against Zika virus.More than half of participants (52.8%) reported that they would be likely or very likely to be vaccinated against Zika virus. Vaccination interest was significantly higher among participants who received an influenza vaccine in the past year (p=0.002), had higher levels of knowledge about Zika virus (p=0.046), reported knowing where to access information about Zika virus (p=0.041), had higher perceived susceptibility to Zika virus (p<0.001), and believed that the U.S. Government should prioritize actions to control Zika virus (p=0.001).Communication and intervention strategies encouraging vaccine uptake may benefit from increasing knowledge of Zika virus, addressing perceived susceptibility, and reaching students, travelers, and others who may be seeking information about prevention of Zika virus and other emerging infectious diseases.
Pub.: 11 Jan '17, Pinned: 13 Jan '17
Nrf2-dependent induction of innate host defense via heme oxygenase-1 inhibits Zika virus replication.
Abstract: We identified primary human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) as vulnerable target cells for Zika virus (ZIKV) infection. We demonstrate dramatic effects of hemin, the natural inducer of the heme catabolic enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), in the reduction of ZIKV replication in vitro. Both LLC-MK2 monkey kidney cells and primary MDM exhibited hemin-induced HO-1 expression with major reductions of >90% in ZIKV replication, with little toxicity to infected cells. Silencing expression of HO-1 or its upstream regulatory gene, nuclear factor erythroid-related factor 2 (Nrf2), attenuated hemin-induced suppression of ZIKV infection, suggesting an important role for induction of these intracellular mediators in retarding ZIKV replication. The inverse correlation between hemin-induced HO-1 levels and ZIKV replication provides a potentially useful therapeutic modality based on stimulation of an innate cellular response against Zika virus infection.
Pub.: 10 Jan '17, Pinned: 13 Jan '17
Structure of the immature Zika virus at 9 Å resolution.
Abstract: The current Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic is characterized by severe pathogenicity in both children and adults. Sequence changes in ZIKV since its first isolation are apparent when pre-epidemic strains are compared with those causing the current epidemic. However, the residues that are responsible for ZIKV pathogenicity are largely unknown. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the immature ZIKV at 9-Å resolution. The cryo-EM map was fitted with the crystal structures of the precursor membrane and envelope glycoproteins and was shown to be similar to the structures of other known immature flaviviruses. However, the immature ZIKV contains a partially ordered capsid protein shell that is less prominent in other immature flaviviruses. Furthermore, six amino acids near the interface between pr domains at the top of the spikes were found to be different between the pre-epidemic and epidemic ZIKV, possibly influencing the composition and structure of the resulting viruses.
Pub.: 10 Jan '17, Pinned: 10 Jan '17
Neuropathogenesis of Zika Virus in a Highly Susceptible Immunocompetent Mouse Model after Antibody Blockade of Type I Interferon.
Abstract: Animal models are needed to better understand the pathogenic mechanisms of Zika virus (ZIKV) and to evaluate candidate medical countermeasures. Adult mice infected with ZIKV develop a transient viremia, but do not demonstrate signs of morbidity or mortality. Mice deficient in type I or a combination of type I and type II interferon (IFN) responses are highly susceptible to ZIKV infection; however, the absence of a competent immune system limits their usefulness for studying medical countermeasures. Here we employ a murine model for ZIKV using wild-type C57BL/6 mice treated with an antibody to disrupt type I IFN signaling to study ZIKV pathogenesis. We observed 40% mortality in antibody treated mice exposed to ZIKV subcutaneously whereas mice exposed by intraperitoneal inoculation were highly susceptible incurring 100% mortality. Mice infected by both exposure routes experienced weight loss, high viremia, and severe neuropathologic changes. The most significant histopathological findings occurred in the central nervous system where lesions represent an acute to subacute encephalitis/encephalomyelitis that is characterized by neuronal death, astrogliosis, microgliosis, scattered necrotic cellular debris, and inflammatory cell infiltrates. This model of ZIKV pathogenesis will be valuable for evaluating medical countermeasures and the pathogenic mechanisms of ZIKV because it allows immune responses to be elicited in immunologically competent mice with IFN I blockade only induced at the time of infection.
Pub.: 10 Jan '17, Pinned: 10 Jan '17
Zika Virus -10 Public Health Achievements in 2016 and Future Priorities.
Abstract: The introduction of Zika virus into the Region of the Americas (Americas) and the subsequent increase in cases of congenital microcephaly resulted in activation of CDC's Emergency Operations Center on January 22, 2016, to ensure a coordinated response and timely dissemination of information, and led the World Health Organization to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016. During the past year, public health agencies and researchers worldwide have collaborated to protect pregnant women, inform clinicians and the public, and advance knowledge about Zika virus (Figure 1). This report summarizes 10 important contributions toward addressing the threat posed by Zika virus in 2016. To protect pregnant women and their fetuses and infants from the effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy, public health activities must focus on preventing mosquito-borne transmission through vector control and personal protective practices, preventing sexual transmission by advising abstention from sex or consistent and correct use of condoms, and preventing unintended pregnancies by reducing barriers to access to highly effective reversible contraception.
Pub.: 06 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Dynamic Forecasting of Zika Epidemics Using Google Trends.
Abstract: We developed a dynamic forecasting model for Zika virus (ZIKV), based on real-time online search data from Google Trends (GTs). It was designed to provide Zika virus disease (ZVD) surveillance and detection for Health Departments, and predictive numbers of infection cases, which would allow them sufficient time to implement interventions. In this study, we found a strong correlation between Zika-related GTs and the cumulative numbers of reported cases (confirmed, suspected and total cases; p<0.001). Then, we used the correlation data from Zika-related online search in GTs and ZIKV epidemics between 12 February and 20 October 2016 to construct an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model (0, 1, 3) for the dynamic estimation of ZIKV outbreaks. The forecasting results indicated that the predicted data by ARIMA model, which used the online search data as the external regressor to enhance the forecasting model and assist the historical epidemic data in improving the quality of the predictions, are quite similar to the actual data during ZIKV epidemic early November 2016. Integer-valued autoregression provides a useful base predictive model for ZVD cases. This is enhanced by the incorporation of GTs data, confirming the prognostic utility of search query based surveillance. This accessible and flexible dynamic forecast model could be used in the monitoring of ZVD to provide advanced warning of future ZIKV outbreaks.
Pub.: 07 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Brazilian women avoiding pregnancy during Zika epidemic
Abstract: Brazil now has confirmed 1845 cases of Congenital Zika syndrome in babies (TORCHZ) in a group of 9091 suspected cases.1 It is estimated that 174 003 Brazilians have been infected with Zika, although the Ministry of Health has not published any updated surveillance data since early July 2016.2 To understand if and how the epidemic has impacted reproductive health practices, we conducted a national survey in June 2016 using mixed methods. We used a face-to-face questionnaire to collect sociodemographic and opinion and practices data about reproductive health and pregnancy and a secret ballot box to gather information related to abortion experiences. We collected data from a nationally representative sample of 2002 urban Brazilian women between the ages of 18–39 years and literate, thereby corresponding to 83% of the total female population (with a confidence interval of 2%). The results provide an important first glimpse into how...
Pub.: 22 Dec '16, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
A comprehensive analysis and immunobiology of autoimmune neurological syndromes during the Zika virus outbreak in Cúcuta, Colombia.
Abstract: We have focused on the epidemiology and immunobiology of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection and factors associated with the development of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and other neurological syndromes in Cúcuta, the capital of North Santander department, Colombia. Data of patients with ZIKV disease reported to the national population-based surveillance system were used to calculate the basic reproduction number (R0) and the attack rates (ARs) as well as to develop epidemiological maps. Patients with neurological syndromes were contacted and their diagnoses were confirmed. A case-control study in which 29 patients with GBS associated with ZIKV compared with 74-matched control patients with ZIKV infection alone was undertaken. Antibodies against arboviruses and other infections that may trigger GBS were evaluated. The estimated value of R0 ranged between 2.68 (95% CI 2.54-2.67) to 4.57 (95% CI 4.18-5.01). The sex-specific ARs were 1306 per 100,000 females, and 552 per 100,000 males. A non-linear interaction between age and gender on the ARs was observed. The incidence of GBS in Cúcuta increased 4.41 times secondary to ZIKV infection. The lag time between ZIKV infection and neurological symptoms was 7 days (interquartile range 2-14.5). Patients with GBS appeared to represent a lower socioeconomic status and were living near to environmentally contaminated areas. All GBS patients were positive for IgG antibodies against both ZIKV and Dengue virus, and 69% were positive for Chikungunya virus. Noteworthy, GBS was associated with a previous infection with M. pneumoniae (OR: 3.95; 95% CI 1.44-13.01; p = 0.006). No differences in antibody levels against C. jejuni, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus were observed. High rates of cranial nerves involvement and dysautonomia were present in 82% and 75.9%, respectively. Intensive care unit (ICU) admission was necessary in 69% of the GBS patients. Most of the patients disclosed a high disability condition (Hughes grade 4). Dysautonomia was the main risk factor of poor GBS prognosis (i.e., ICU admission and disability). Thirteen patients were diagnosed with other neurological syndromes different to GBS (6 with transverse myelitis, 3 with encephalitis, 3 with peripheral facial palsy and one with thoraco-lumbosacral myelopathy). Our data confirm an increased transmission of ZIKV in Cúcuta, and provide support to the view that severe neurological syndromes are related to ZIKV disease. The complex ways by which previous infections and socioeconomic status interact to increase the risk of GBS in people infected by ZIKV should be further investigated.
Pub.: 08 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Sexually acquired Zika virus: a systematic review.
Abstract: Zika virus (ZIKV) is transmitted to humans primarily by Aedes mosquito bites. However, circumstantial evidence points to a sexual transmission route.To assess the sexually-acquired ZIKV cases and to investigate the shedding of ZIKV in genital fluids.PubMed, Scopus, Pro-MED-mail, and WHO ZIKV notification databases from inception to December 2016.Reports describing ZIKV acquisition through sex and studies reporting the detection or isolation of ZIKV in the genital fluids were included. The risk of bias assessment: The risk of bias was assessed using the National Institute of Health Tool.Eighteen studies reporting on sex-acquired ZIKV and 21 describing the presence of ZIKV in genital fluids were included. The overall risk of bias was moderate. Sexual transmission was male-female (92.5%), female-male (3.7%), and male-male (3.7%). Modes of sexual transmission were unprotected vaginal (96.2%), oral (18.5%), and anal intercourse (7. 4%).The median time between onset of symptoms in the index partner and presumed sexual transmission was 13 (range:4-44) days. ZIKV RNA was detected in semen as late as 188 (range:3-188) days following symptom onset, and infectious virus was isolated in semen up to 69 days after symptom onset. No study reported ZIKV isolation from female genital samples, but detection did occur up to 13 days after symptom onset.ZIKV is potentially sexually transmitted and persists in male genital secretions for a prolonged period after symptom onset.
Pub.: 08 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Zika virus: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and human disease
Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 December 2016 Source:The American Journal of the Medical Sciences Author(s): Elizabeth K. Nugent, Anne K. Nugent, Rebecca Nugent, Kenneth Nugent The Zika virus is a positive sense, single stranded RNA arbovirus in the Flaviviridae family, genus Flavivirus. This virus was initially isolated in Africa and is transmitted to non-human primates and humans by mosquitoes. Initial reports describe sporadic mild viral infection with fever, arthralgias, myalgias, and conjunctivitis in Africa and Asia. However, its geographic distribution has significantly increased, and it has caused large outbreaks in the Yap Islands in 2007, in French Polynesia in 2013, and in Brazil in 2015. Multiple cases of Guillain-Barre´ syndrome occurred in French Polynesia and Columbia during outbreaks, and infections in pregnant women in Brazil have been associated with microcephaly and fetal loss. The viremic phase in humans is short, and diagnosis usually depends on positive IgM titers with serum neutralization tests for confirmation. Treatment is directed at symptoms; there are no antiviral drugs available. Transmission can also occur through sexual contact with infected men and through blood transfusion. Prevention is important in women and includes limiting travel to endemic areas when possible, control of mosquito populations, and condom use when appropriate. The CDC is actively involved in tracking these infections and providing up to date information.
Pub.: 02 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Molecular evolution of Zika virus as it crossed the Pacific to the Americas
Abstract: Zika virus was previously considered to cause only a benign infection in humans. Studies of recent outbreaks of Zika virus in the Pacific, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean have associated the virus with severe neuropathology. Viral evolution may be one factor contributing to an apparent change in Zika disease as it spread from Southeast Asia across the Pacific to the Americas. To address this possibility, we have employed computational tools to compare the phylogeny, geography, immunology and RNA structure of Zika virus isolates from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. In doing so, we compare and contrast methods and results for tree search and rooting of Zika virus phylogenies. In some phylogenetic analyses we find support for the hypothesis that there is a deep common ancestor between African and Asian clades (the “Asia/Africa” hypothesis). In other phylogenetic analyses, we find that Asian lineages are descendent from African lineages (the “out of Africa” hypothesis). In addition, we identify and evaluate key mutations in viral envelope protein coding and untranslated terminal RNA regions. We find stepwise mutations that have altered both immunological motif sets and regulatory sequence elements. Both of these sets of changes distinguish viruses found in Africa from those in the emergent Asia–Pacific–Americas lineage. These findings support the working hypothesis that mutations acquired by Zika virus in the Pacific and Americas contribute to changes in pathology. These results can inform experiments required to elucidate the role of viral genetic evolution in changes in neuropathology, including microcephaly and other neurological and skeletomuscular issues in infants, and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults.
Pub.: 12 Dec '16, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Acute flaccid paralysis incidence and Zika virus surveillance, Pacific Islands.
Abstract: The emergence of Zika virus has challenged outbreak surveillance systems in many at-risk, low-resource countries. As the virus has been linked with Guillain-Barré syndrome, routine data on the incidence of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) may provide a useful early warning system for the emergence of Zika virus.We documented all Zika virus outbreaks and cases in 21 Pacific Islands and territories for the years 2007 to 2015. We extracted data from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative database on the reported and expected annual incidence of AFP in children younger than 15 years. Using a Poisson probability test, we tested the significance of unexpected increases in AFP in years correlating with Zika virus emergence. Data were analysed separately for each Pacific Island country and territory.In most Pacific Island countries, early warning surveillance for acute public health threats such as Zika virus is hampered by poor health infrastructure, insufficient human resources and geographical isolation.Only one example was found (Solomon Islands in 2015) of a significant increase in reported AFP cases correlating with Zika virus emergence.We found no conclusive evidence that routinely reported AFP incidence data in children were useful for detecting emergence of Zika virus in this setting. More evidence may be needed from adult populations, who are more likely to be affected by Guillain-Barré syndrome. Reporting of AFP may be deficient in regions certified as polio-free.
Pub.: 06 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
The larvicide pyriproxyfen blamed during the Zika virus outbreak does not cause microcephaly in zebrafish embryos.
Abstract: Although the zika virus (ZIKV) has now been strongly correlated with emerging cases of microcephaly in the Americas, suspicions have been raised regarding the use of pyriproxyfen, a larvicide that prevents mosquito development, in drinking water. The effects of this compound on neurodevelopment have not yet been addressed specifically in vertebrates. As a result, we aimed at addressing the effects, if any, of pyriproxyfen on neurodevelopment in the zebrafish embryo as a vertebrate model. Using zebrafish transgenic lines expressing GFP in different cell populations (elavl3 in newborn neurons, gfap and nestin in neural stem cells), we focused on the analysis of whole embryonic brain volume after confocal 3D-reconstruction and the quantification of purified neural stem cells during early neurodevelopment by FACS-cell sorting from whole in vivo embryos. Interestingly, though lethal at very high doses, pyriproxyfen did not cause brain malformation nor any significant changes in the number of observed stem cells in the developing central nervous system. Our data indicate that pyriproxyfen does not affect central nervous system development in zebrafish, suggesting that this larvicide on its own, may not be correlated with the increase in microcephaly cases reported recently.
Pub.: 05 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Characterization of cytopathic factors through genome-wide analysis of the Zika viral proteins in fission yeast.
Abstract: The Zika virus (ZIKV) causes microcephaly and the Guillain-Barré syndrome. Little is known about how ZIKV causes these conditions or which ZIKV viral protein(s) is responsible for the associated ZIKV-induced cytopathic effects, including cell hypertrophy, growth restriction, cell-cycle dysregulation, and cell death. We used fission yeast for the rapid, global functional analysis of the ZIKV genome. All 14 proteins or small peptides were produced under an inducible promoter, and we measured the intracellular localization and the specific effects on ZIKV-associated cytopathic activities of each protein. The subcellular localization of each ZIKV protein was in overall agreement with its predicted protein structure. Five structural and two nonstructural ZIKV proteins showed various levels of cytopathic effects. The expression of these ZIKV proteins restricted cell proliferation, induced hypertrophy, or triggered cellular oxidative stress leading to cell death. The expression of premembrane protein (prM) resulted in cell-cycle G1 accumulation, whereas membrane-anchored capsid (anaC), membrane protein (M), envelope protein (E), and nonstructural protein 4A (NS4A) caused cell-cycle G2/M accumulation. A mechanistic study revealed that NS4A-induced cellular hypertrophy and growth restriction were mediated specifically through the target of rapamycin (TOR) cellular stress pathway involving Tor1 and type 2A phosphatase activator Tip41. These findings should provide a reference for future research on the prevention and treatment of ZIKV diseases.
Pub.: 05 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Zika virus and pregnancy: An overview.
Abstract: In May 2015, the first episodes of Zika virus infection of the Latin America were confirmed in Brazil, where currently 196 976 cases were reported. The main route of transmission occurs by Aedes mosquitoes, and the most common symptoms are maculopapular rash, fever, conjunctivitis, polyarthralgia, and periarticular edema. However, the infection is asymptomatic in 80% of the cases. The congenital infection is characterized when the transmission to the fetus occurs during pregnancy, but the mechanisms of how the virus infects the placenta remain unclear. Anatomopathological findings were described in first- and third-trimester human placentas; however, the major affected tissue of the baby is the neural. Several clinical situations were listed in these fetuses, such as neurological, ophthalmological, auditory, and articular alterations. The World Health Organization proposed a new congenital syndrome caused by Zika virus. The virus has an important neurotropism and the main manifestation observed in the syndrome is microcephaly, which is usually severe and associated with other neurological injuries. The appearance of sudden rash in pregnant women determines immediate investigation through RT-PCR and serological analysis. Moreover, the prevention consists in using repellents and avoiding endemic areas, considering that the vaccine is still under development.
Pub.: 04 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Substrate selectivity of Dengue and Zika virus NS5 polymerase towards 2'-modified nucleotide analogues.
Abstract: In targeting the essential viral RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (RdRp), nucleotide analogues play a major role in antiviral therapies. In the Flaviviridae family, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be eradicated from chronically infected patients using a combination of drugs which generally include the 2'-modified uridine analogue Sofosbuvir, delivered as nucleotide prodrug. Dengue and Zika viruses are emerging flaviviruses whose RdRp is closely related to that of HCV, yet no nucleoside drug has been clinically approved for these acute infections. We have purified dengue and Zika virus full-length NS5, the viral RdRps, and used them to assemble a stable binary complex made of NS5 and virus-specific RNA primer/templates. The complex was used to assess the selectivity of NS5 towards nucleotide analogues bearing modifications at the 2'-position. We show that dengue and Zika virus RdRps exhibit the same discrimination pattern: 2'-O-Me > 2'-C-Me-2'-F > 2'-C-Me nucleoside analogues, unlike HCV RdRp for which the presence of the 2'-F is beneficial rendering the discrimination pattern 2'-O-Me > 2'-C-Me ≥ 2'-C-Me-2'-F. Both 2'-C-Me and 2'-C-Me-2'-F analogues act as non-obligate RNA chain terminators. The dengue and Zika NS5 nucleotide selectivity towards 2'-modified NTPs mirrors potency of the corresponding analogues in infected cell cultures.
Pub.: 04 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Obatoclax, saliphenylhalamide and gemcitabine inhibit Zika virus infection in vitro and differentially affect cellular signaling, transcription and metabolism.
Abstract: An epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection associated with congenital abnormalities such as microcephaly, is ongoing in the Americas and the Pacific. Currently there are no approved therapies to treat this emerging viral disease. Here, we tested three cell-directed broad-spectrum antiviral compounds against ZIKV replication using human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and a low-passage ZIKV strain isolated from fetal brain. We found that obatoclax, SaliPhe, and gemcitabine inhibited ZIKV infections at noncytotoxic concentrations. Moreover, all three compounds prevented production of viral RNA and proteins as well as activation of cellular caspase 8, 3 and 7. However, these compounds differentially affected ZIKV-mediated transcription, translation and posttranslational modifications of cellular factors as well as metabolic pathways indicating that these agents possess different mechanisms of action. Interestingly, combination of obatoclax and SaliPhe at nanomolar concentrations had a synergistic effect against ZIKV infection. Thus, our results provided the foundation for development of broad-spectrum cell-directed antivirals or their combinations for treatment of ZIKV and other emerging viral infections.
Pub.: 04 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Zika Virus Infection as a Cause of Congenital Brain Abnormalities and Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Systematic Review.
Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) stated in March 2016 that there was scientific consensus that the mosquito-borne Zika virus was a cause of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and of microcephaly and other congenital brain abnormalities based on rapid evidence assessments. Decisions about causality require systematic assessment to guide public health actions. The objectives of this study were to update and reassess the evidence for causality through a rapid and systematic review about links between Zika virus infection and (a) congenital brain abnormalities, including microcephaly, in the foetuses and offspring of pregnant women and (b) GBS in any population, and to describe the process and outcomes of an expert assessment of the evidence about causality.The study had three linked components. First, in February 2016, we developed a causality framework that defined questions about the relationship between Zika virus infection and each of the two clinical outcomes in ten dimensions: temporality, biological plausibility, strength of association, alternative explanations, cessation, dose-response relationship, animal experiments, analogy, specificity, and consistency. Second, we did a systematic review (protocol number CRD42016036693). We searched multiple online sources up to May 30, 2016 to find studies that directly addressed either outcome and any causality dimension, used methods to expedite study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment, and summarised evidence descriptively. Third, WHO convened a multidisciplinary panel of experts who assessed the review findings and reached consensus statements to update the WHO position on causality. We found 1,091 unique items up to May 30, 2016. For congenital brain abnormalities, including microcephaly, we included 72 items; for eight of ten causality dimensions (all except dose-response relationship and specificity), we found that more than half the relevant studies supported a causal association with Zika virus infection. For GBS, we included 36 items, of which more than half the relevant studies supported a causal association in seven of ten dimensions (all except dose-response relationship, specificity, and animal experimental evidence). Articles identified nonsystematically from May 30 to July 29, 2016 strengthened the review findings. The expert panel concluded that (a) the most likely explanation of available evidence from outbreaks of Zika virus infection and clusters of microcephaly is that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of congenital brain abnormalities including microcephaly, and (b) the most likely explanation of available evidence from outbreaks of Zika virus infection and GBS is that Zika virus infection is a trigger of GBS. The expert panel recognised that Zika virus alone may not be sufficient to cause either congenital brain abnormalities or GBS but agreed that the evidence was sufficient to recommend increased public health measures. Weaknesses are the limited assessment of the role of dengue virus and other possible cofactors, the small number of comparative epidemiological studies, and the difficulty in keeping the review up to date with the pace of publication of new research.Rapid and systematic reviews with frequent updating and open dissemination are now needed both for appraisal of the evidence about Zika virus infection and for the next public health threats that will emerge. This systematic review found sufficient evidence to say that Zika virus is a cause of congenital abnormalities and is a trigger of GBS.
Pub.: 04 Jan '17, Pinned: 09 Jan '17
Prevalence of Antibodies to Zika Virus in Mothers from Hawaii Who Delivered Babies with and without Microcephaly between 2009-2012
Abstract: by Mukesh Kumar, Lauren Ching, Joshua Astern, Eunjung Lim, Alexander J. Stokes, Marian Melish, Vivek R. Nerurkar Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-borne pathogen. ZIKV infection is linked to the development of severe fetal abnormalities that include spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, hydranencephaly, and microcephaly. ZIKV outbreaks have been recorded in the United States. We recently demonstrated the first congenital ZIKV infection in the United States. In this study, we investigated archived blood samples from six mothers who gave birth to babies with microcephaly and 12 mothers who gave birth to healthy babies in Hawaii between 2009 and 2012. We tested maternal blood for the presence of ZIKV IgM and IgG antibodies using commercially available human ZIKV IgM and IgG ELISA kits. Blood from one mother who delivered babies with microcephaly tested positive for ZIKV IgM antibody (16.6%) and blood from three mothers tested positive for ZIKV IgG antibody (50%). ZIKV showed a trend toward significance with microcephaly. ZIKV IgG antibody positive mothers were more likely to deliver babies with microcephaly than mothers who were negative for ZIKV IgG antibodies (Odds ratio [OR] = 11.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.8–147.9, p = 0.083). Similarly, ZIKV IgM antibody positive mothers were also more likely to deliver babies with microcephaly than mothers who were negative for ZIKV IgM antibody (OR = 6.8, 95% CI = 0.2–195.1). These data provide further evidence of a link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly and suggests presence of ZIKV positive cases and associated microcephaly in the United States as early as 2009.
Pub.: 20 Dec '16, Pinned: 09 Jan '17